Wednesday, September 05, 2007

"Do You Know How Lucky You Are..."

So a short while ago, I get a phone call from an artist at a non-signator animation company. He tells me that the boss man recently assembled the staff and let on how "there's a lot of artists who've just come onto the market, so..." Then the boss man made a long, pregnant pause.

Naturally, this made some of the crew ... sort of nervous.

And I tell him how thirty-plus years ago, an executive at Disney sidled up to me one day and said: "You know how lucky you are to have this job? You know how many people want your job?"

Decade after decade, the strategies of intimidation seldom change.


Anonymous said...

Don't tell me there aren't jobs in LA!!!!


Anonymous said...

I'm telling you there aren't many jobs in LA (because your links prove it). have you clicked on those? there for every city BUT Los Angeles.

...and they are all for video games- which are largely non-union shops (correct me if i'm wrong here Steve).

Anonymous said...

yeah, i have to agree... there really aren't that many jobs here.

it seems as though there are a lot of jobs in vancouver, but all of the jobs here are for video games.

which is why these people who say "if your boss is a dick, quit" are so irrelevant. things are sparse out there and very competitive.

Anonymous said...


Then just sit there and wait for Pixar top come knocking on your door to offer you a lead animator position.

Their offer will include a private helicopter to come and pick you up every morning, and you'll have a corporate account as well.

I've seen my fair share of friends taking an active approach to their carreers and succeed. One of them just got a job at Dreamworks just by going to Sigraph this year.

Mommy did not take you there holding your hand I guess....

Anonymous said...

If you wan't a friend in the Los Angeles animation industry buy a dog. But seriously, most of us do experience ups and downs as far as employment goes, but hey, it is the choice we made when we decided on this business as our careers in the first place. Some times you're riding high, other times you are wondering where the work is. That's reality for most of us animation artist's. Try and play nice, even when dealing with grumps or egomaniacs. There are some creative and very funny people we are lucky enough to work with at most of the L.A. shops. It's a great job being an animation artist regardless of some of the dips in employment that will happen along the way. Stay gold Ponyboy.

Anonymous said...

no wonder animation is in such a sorry state. The whole lot of these chumps are meek cowards that can apparently only do one thing with their talents and are perfectly content with being treated like sweatshop workers.

wasn't having an impossible dream the reason you even got into this business? what the hell happened?!

why even read this blog if all you can do is shit on anyone else that has a pair of testicles big enough to at least TRY and stand up for themselves? Either get in the game and play ball or stay off the field ya bunch of whiners.


Anonymous said...

Take a pill Daniel, try being a human being for a day

Steve Hulett said...

Admittedly, employment isn't as robust as a decade ago, but TAG's stats show there are quite a few people working.

The problem is: long-term employment today means twelve months. Most people work project-to-project, and the scramble from one assignment to another get tiresome and nerve-jangling.

You also have to possess the right skill sets, and the "right" ones change over time.

Maybe I'll do a post expanding on this when I have a little time to think.

Anonymous said...

As far as I can tell the one skill that trumps everything is storyboarding. If you can storyboard you will almost always be able to find work. Especially since only about 30% of those that call themselves storyboarders are actually any good. And by 'any good' I mean the director isn't forced to redo more than 50% of your turned in work.

Of course there's also the differences in types of storyboards - there's the cat/dog & Ren/Stimpy anti-storyboarding and then there's the classic film making storyboarding for TV and DTV and then there's the feature style of boarding. If you can do at least two of the three you should be in good shape.

Anonymous said...

One more thing...if you call yourself a storyboarder and find that you have a lot of trouble finding work it's probably because you are in the 70% majority that really shouldn't be calling using the job title 'storyboarder'. Storyboarders are SO in demand though even a lot of these storyboarders are able to find constant work. Just not usually from the same director more than once.

Anonymous said...

Haha, Pwned Steve....

You hotlinked your image to someone else's site and the picture says "Don't Steal Bandwidth."

Copy the image over to your server.

Anonymous said...

Looks like you do that with most of your images.

Not exactly good form, Cap'n...

Anonymous said...

people limit themselves too much.

tv, feature, gaming, commercials.

there is NO WORK in ANY of these?

it's definitely tougher and more competitive than years ago, but far from impossible to find work.

and if you're a boarder, gimme a break! you can even wiggle into live action. :)

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